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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio debate performance: 'Cringe-worthy' or no big deal

Marco Rubio and family on stage in Bedford

Alex Leary | Times

Marco Rubio and family on stage in Bedford



BEDFORD, N.H. – The Christie-Rubio showdown was the talk of a middle school cafeteria here before the candidate showed up to a crowd of hundreds.

Steve Poschmann, Bedford, 50, intends to vote for Rubio

“It was a little cringe-worthy how he repeated the same lines over and over again how Obama is deliberately destroying the country. He should have laid off those and gone after Christie. I’m not sure why he didn’t. He’s not even running against Obama. Will it hurt? It depends how much the video gets out there.”

Kevin Reigstad, Bedford, 50, undecided

“It made Christie look bad, like a bully. Every politician has their messaging they want to get out. Chris Christie does the same thing, tells the same story, makes the same points."

Val Zanchuk, Concord, 65, undecided independent voter

"Christie pretty much skewered Rubio. It affirmed my concerns that he’s fairly shallow. I’m just here to see if he has anything to say other than his normal script. Rubio should be bleeding right now. I saw Jeb on Friday. I was impressed. He comes across much more genuine, much more knowledgeable than he appears to be on TV and the debates."

Anne Hammer, a former New Hampshire resident who recently moved to Washington, D.C.

"I was surprised because Rubio’s been consistently prepared. I kind of wish he shot back more but if you look at the rest of the debate he did pretty well. I thought he’s having an off night and everyone has an off night once in a while."

John Klingseisen, Bedford, 53, undecided

"He got hammered. Christie called him out and the canned speech thing, repeating it four times, didn't help. When someone is asking you a pointed question, you can’t stick to the message. You've got to adjust to the situation and he didn't do it. He didn’t seem to think on his feet very well. The other problem is he doesn’t have a good tax plan. If Rubio had Ted Cruz's tax policy, he’d win in a landslide. Rubio's got a lot of momentum but this is New Hampshire. You can have 20 point swings in three days and I think you might see one."

Terri Tiedt, Bedford, 53, undecided

"It seemed very over rehearsed, over managed. He had trouble recovering. He’s very good at debating, he’s very good at memorizing. But once he gets knocked off that he has trouble recovering. My biggest problem with Marco Rubio is when he signed onto the amnesty bill. I’m this close to voting to Marco. He needs to explain to me how he got rolled by Chuck Schumer and John McCain on that bill."

[Last modified: Sunday, February 7, 2016 2:27pm]


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